There is no doubt that College Fairs are an excellent resource for students and parents as they prepare to embark on the college selection process in earnest. This spring, hundreds of representatives will visit local high schools for College Nights/Fairs. Not sure if you should go? Consider these reasons why attending a College Fair is not only a good idea, but a must nowadays.
10 Reasons Why Attending a College Fair Is a Good Idea
1. In-person research
College fairs are an excellent opportunity to do some in-person research. You will get immediate feedback to your questions and the schools will start “to come alive” for you as you talk with the admission and/or alumni reps at each booth.
2. Save money
Assuming you have a fair amount of schools already on your radar, it is too expensive to visit all of the colleges and universities you are considering. College Fairs give you the opportunity to visit a large number of schools all under one roof.
3. Explore new options
You may discover a new college(s) that isn’t on your radar until now.
4. Free advice
Admission representatives are often referred to as admission counselors; go ahead – ask them any question you may have. Perhaps you are wondering if you should take AP Psych next year or another year of science instead. Ask them their opinion.
5. Narrow your list of possible options
You will be able to identify which schools you are likely to make the commitment to go visit in person and which ones you may end up deleting from consideration.
6. Demonstrate Interest
Colleges want to know that they are wanted. Most keep track of student contact – attendance at high school visit sessions, College Fairs, and campus visits are all key contacts to make that will show the colleges you are serious about wanting to attend.
7. Find out about summer programs/opportunities
Many colleges now offer pre-college summer programs and experiences on their campus. They will have information at their booths about these programs.
8. Attend special information sessions
Sometimes a College Fair will feature an info session on a specialized topic like Financial Aid or Athlete Recruitment.
9. Practice your interview skills
Talking to college admission reps will help you when it comes time to interview. You will need to think of what questions you want to ask and then think “quick on your feet” to any questions asked of you in return.
10. Great preparation for the campus visit
If you can survive the College Fair – which is loud and somewhat overwhelming – the campus visit will be a piece of cake. You’ll also already have practice for what questions to ask and have an initial feel for the college before you even step foot on campus.
Convinced that going is a great idea? Here is a list of area College Fairs this month. Click on the links for a list of college participants for that particular Fair.
• Tues, April 3: District 214 College Fair at Harper College (Wellness & Sports Center), 6-8:30 PM
• Mon, April 9: Barrington HS College Fair at Barrington HS, 6-8 PM
• Wed, April 11: Niles Township High School Fair at Niles West High School in Skokie, 6:30-8:30 PM.
• Thurs, April 12: The Glenbrooks College Fair at Allstate Plaza in Northbrook (*note: this is not Allstate Arena in Rosemont), 6:30-8:45 PM